Shel Horowitz is the Transformpreneur of Going Beyond Sustainability. Shel is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Shel provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Going Beyond Sustainability. Shel Horowitz joins other leading Bestselling Authors, International Speakers & Transformpreneur's and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Shel join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Let's start by telling us about your business.
As the founder of GoingBeyondSustainability.com, I work with companies to find the sweet spot where profitability meets environmental and social good: helping to create, identify, and market products and services that turn hunger and poverty into abundance, war into peace, catastrophic climate change into planetary balance, and pandemic disease into global health. My latest award-winning book is Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World.
Q: Please tell us how you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
I'm really good at spotting new opportunities: easy product and service adaptations, new positioning angles for media outreach and marketing materials, new markets, collaborative possibilities, ways to repurpose existing resources, etc. My clients consistently tell me that I add tremendous value for them. And I'm blessed to write well, so their written communications attract interest.
Q: Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition?
I focus on combining planetary interest–fixing our biggest crises–with self-interest: creating and marketing profitable products and services. This involves seeing both the "forest" (big-picture) and the "trees" (small details). I believe that the way we solve those huge problems, from hunger and poverty to war to catastrophic climate change, is by showing the business world that they can make money doing the right thing.
Q: And to finish this section, please tell us what is the one major key to your company’s success?
A long-term perspective and a willingness to evolve. I don't expect to change the business culture overnight. I've seen huge progress since starting to integrate the marketing and activist sides of my work 20 years ago, and I take hope and inspiration from the favorable trends, even when there are setbacks. I'm a very optimistic person. I have faith that the world is going in the direction I'm attempting to steer it, even if that takes a few generations to manifest.
Q: For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
Follow your heart–but first let your head determine if there's a market and how you'll reach it.
Q: For entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what big piece of advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Spot trends when they are small and be ready to adapt. I started my business as a term-paper typing service, in 1981. By the time computers began to seriously erode that market, I'd shifted toward using my writing skills. Then I shifted again, from mostly writing for individuals to mostly writing marketing materials for small businesses. As those markets dried up in turn, I was already prepared and moving much deeper into consulting and speaking. My brainpower and knowledge set can't be easily replaced by outsourcing.
Q: In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
I spend at least two or three hours a day in learning mode: I'm a voracious reader, with several books going at once. I read my local daily paper, subscribe to news bulletins from the New York Times, the Guardian, and several green business publications. I scan social media, listen to webinars, participate in discussion groups and salons…and I recognize that keeping up is impossible, but that I can get the outlines of what I need, and research in more detail at the click of a mouse when I need to know more.
Q: What is your “Why”? In one sentence, why do you get up in the morning?
To make the world a better place by fostering solutions to hunger, poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change.
Q: In one sentence, what is the most important thing one has to do to be a great leader?
Listen well and in a caring way.
Q: In one sentence, describe how important your customers are to your business?
Without customers, there is no revenue, and thus, no business.
Q: In one sentence, describe a positive way that technology can make the world a better place?
Using science and technology to create an abundant, eco-friendly, and regenerative world by minimizing resources to achieve maximum results.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how something positive to motivate our readers?
I write a daily journal of what I'm grateful for each day, and post it publicly on Facebook (covering every day since March, 2018).
Q: In one sentence, tell us how you start your day to get ready?
After checking reporter queries, I look at my calendar and to-do list and figure out roughly what I hope to get done.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you handle rejection and setback?
As an optimist with a long-term view, I think the time for this particular thing isn't now, think about when the time might be, and what steps will be necessary to get there.
Q: In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
I hire task-specific vendors as needed.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you keep your sanity in a competitive business environment?
I see my competitors as potential allies, and am always looking for ways to collaborate with them–such as writing two Guerrilla Marketing books with the late Jay Conrad Levinson–who, like me, was a marketing strategist, speaker, and author.
Shel Horowitz, thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Going Beyond Sustainability, nothing but the best.